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Showing posts from April, 2018

Learning to Play Backgammon, Part I

As if my obsession with the game of Chess does not provide me enough cause for frustration and mid-day time wasting, I've picked up Backgammon over the past month or so. I mean, I already knew the rules and how to play (even own a cool "briefcase" Backgammon set my Aunt got me for Christmas one year), it is not a complicated game; however, I'm at a point now where I'm playing online every couple days (at least) and trying to learn and use some strategy.

Fundamentally, Backgammon is a pretty simple, two-player "racing" game. You and your opponent both have a certain number of pieces (called checkers) on the board and you roll the dice to try and get them home as quickly as you can. Really, it's like a much more simplified and stripped down version of Chutes & Ladders or Life, or any other game in which you have to get somewhere before your opponent.

A couple subtle nuances aside, such as "bearing off," and "hitting," and &quo…

New Yorker Fiction Review #195: "A Love Story" by Samantha Hunt

Review of a short story in the May 22, 2017 issue of The New Yorker...

For the first time since I started reviewing the short stories in The New Yorker (back in the winter of 2013) I am nearly a full year behind. How has this happened? Sigh... The weeks keep coming and they don't stop coming. Meantime, you get occupied writing about other stuff, reading other stuff, you slip further and further behind, so far behind it doesn't even seem like you should take-up the project again at all. But I don't know...something always draws me back to it.

Anyway...

"A Love Story" is not so much a "story" as it is a stream of consciousness piece from inside the head of a middle-aged mother of three under-going a mid-life personal, marital, emotional, and sexual crisis. The first part of the story reads as a bunch one-off observations and scenarios from her life. But gradually, the scenarios and observations get more complex until we get a much better and clearer sense…